Becoming Nicole


Amy Ellis Nutt

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Becoming Nicole: Chapter 37 Summary & Analysis

While Nicole gains confidence, Jonas experiences more depression and anxiety. Even though he’s proud of Nicole and always has her back, he frequently feels like his life revolves around hers—that his biggest role is “being someone else’s brother.” He finds some solace in his music, however.
Nutt implies here that Jonas, too, struggles with not having a completely “normal” family, in that his sister often gets attention and her needs come first. But despite this, he still loves his sister more than anything and knows their bond holds the family together in many ways.
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Sometimes it is exciting to be Nicole’s brother, however, as when Wayne, Nicole, and Jonas join other activists at the White House for LGBT Pride Month in 2012. They listen to President Obama laud them for their “extraordinary courage” as they push for equality.
Nicole and Jonas are elevated from being known as activists in Maine to being nationally recognized by the President. This emphasizes the importance of the Maineses’ advocacy, and in many ways makes their struggles worth it.
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When it is time to leave, Nicole lingers to take photographs with the White House reporters. Jonas immediately asks Wayne if he should go get her—his instinct always to take care of her. Wayne hugs him and tells him how proud he is of Jonas for looking out for Nicole and making sacrifices for her for so long.
Wayne acknowledges how much Jonas has done to support Nicole over the years, and how his protection of her has been so key to maintaining the safety of their family. It is likely immensely gratifying for Jonas to be recognized like this, since he has struggled with feeling like his place in the family is insignificant compared to Nicole’s.
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